Man fined $250 after officials say he tortured a wolf in Wyoming. Activists are outraged. - East Idaho News

Man fined $250 after officials say he tortured a wolf in Wyoming. Activists are outraged.

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(Idaho Statesman) — Photos and videos surfaced this week showing a man parading a live wolf around a Wyoming bar — and the man was fined $250 for the act, reports say.

Now tens of thousands of animal rights advocates from all over the world, including an attorney for an animal wellness organization, are calling for the man to be charged criminally.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department provided the photo and videos to Cowboy State Daily on Wednesday, April 10, the outlet reported. The video “confirms some of the details of earlier reports of a wolf being captured, having its mouth taped shut and displayed in a bar before being killed,” the outlet reported.

In a news release, Scott Edwards, an attorney for two animal-welfare groups, said the man violated Wyoming’s anti-cruelty law and should face charges as a result.

Wayne Pacelle, president of Animal Wellness Action, one of the groups, said in the release that the man should not be able to “escape prosecution under statutes designed specifically to address this sort of malicious crime” and should “be arrested for animal cruelty.”

“After he ran over and crushed an animal with a snowmobile, he used tape to bind the animal’s mouth shut and then he proceeded to torment the animal, psychologically and physically,” Pacelle said. “That latter set of actions collectively amounts to a direct violation of the state’s anti-cruelty statute. He cannot be allowed to conduct this malicious mistreatment of an animal without legal consequence.”

The Sublette County Sheriff’s Office says it is investigating the Feb. 29 incident and that its office has “received an overwhelming number of calls from concerned individuals worldwide,” according to posts on Facebook.

“While we appreciate the expressed concern and outrage, this influx of calls is hindering our ability to respond promptly to critical situations,” sheriff’s office officials said in an April 12 post on Facebook.

More than 200 people commented on the post within hours of officials posting it — many of them expressing more outrage that “justice needs to be served.”

“I can’t bear to think of the terror that magnificent wolf felt,” someone said.

Others pointed out that wolves are “demonized” in the state, leading to a culture of tolerance regarding cruelty against them.

“The state needs to educate humans on how important this Apex predator is to the environment,” they said. “Folks who are educated on these very intelligent and necessary beings are outraged at the actions and inactions surrounding this horrific event!”

“The world is watching, Wyoming,” someone else said. “I hope justice is served.”